Feast Mode – How to Get Stuffed Without Getting Stuck

Dr. Sofia Xofylli
Written by Dr. Sofia Xofylli

Happy Thanksgiving from Hudec Dental Orthodontics! The big feast is just around the corner and there is no need to miss out on all your favorite holiday treats just because you wear braces. However, in order to prevent damage to your braces or other orthodontic appliances, you’ll need to be a little extra cautious about what you eat and how you eat it. Here are some tips on how to get stuffed with delicious food without getting stuck with a poking wire or a broken bracket.

Starters & Appetizers

Typically, while you’re waiting for guests to arrive or dinner to start, appetizers are brought out to keep you satisfied until the entrees were ready. While many common appetizers may not be good to consume with braces on, there are still quite a few options still open to you. To make it even easier, we’ve created two short lists to follow:

  • Do’s: cheese chunks or slices, salami or pepperoni slices, soft dips with bread, meatballs or cocktail smokies.
  • Don’ts: crunchy raw vegetables, chips, popcorn, and nuts.

Main Entrees

The best part about the main dishes of Thanksgiving is that many of the foods in this course are edible even with braces. More times than not, these foods are soft, not hard or sticky. Fill your plate with these:

  • Turkey or Ham: Both of these foods are perfectly safe to eat with braces. However, be sure to cut the meat into small pieces and do not eat them off the bone.
  • Stuffing: Stuffing is typically soft – making it perfect for consuming with braces. Depending on the recipe, some people like to include walnuts or pecans. Be sure to ask what’s inside before getting your serving. Don’t take from the edges as they may be crunchy from the oven!
  • Vegetables: Cooked veggies are always a great, healthy option for any meal. On Thanksgiving, you might find sweet potato casserole (without nuts), corn (not on the cob) or maybe mashed potatoes and gravy. As long as your veggies are well cooked and soft, you’re in the clear.


This is where it gets a little tricky. While dessert may be the best part of just about any Thanksgiving dinner, we want to remind you of your options. If you love pumpkin pie, eat away. If you prefer pecan, you may have to sit this one out. Most pies that include cream or fruit are fine, but avoid cookies that are crunchy or contain nuts.

***Rule of thumb is that as long as what you eat is NOT hard, sticky or chewy, it’s fair game. Always cut bigger pieces into small bites.***

Remember: It’s important to keep your braces clean in order to maintain a healthy smile throughout your treatment. After the meal is over, be sure to floss and brush thoroughly. Turn on your feast mode and celebrate Thanksgiving! Having braces doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. As we have explained above, most holiday foods are perfect to eat with braces, because many of them are soft. Enjoy the day and don’t get too caught up in avoiding foods while you celebrate with your family and friends.

Taking care of your smile should be important. Let us be part of the team that gives you a smile you can trust and believe in!

Do you have questions about how to best take care of your braces? We can answer your questions to keep your teeth and gums healthy – schedule a free consultationContact us or call 216-325-0822!

About the author

Dr. Sofia Xofylli

Dr. Sofia Xofylli

Dr. Sofia Xofylli was born in Cologne, Germany and spent part of her childhood in Illinois. She originally is from Thessaloniki, Greece, where she grew up, went to school, and where her family now resides. She attended the Dental School of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki where she received her Doctorate in Dental Surgery (DDS) degree. Dr. Xofylli was inspired to become an orthodontist by her father, who is a speech pathologist and cofounder of the first Craniofacial Team in Greece. To pursue this dream, Dr. Xofylli moved to Cleveland, Ohio to complete her Orthodontic Residency and receive her Masters in the Science of Dentistry (MSD) degree from Case Western Reserve University. While at Case, her research culminated in her Thesis on Biomechanics and Orthodontic Tooth Movement with Invisalign.

Dr. Xofylli is currently an Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. She is also a member of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), the Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists (GLAO), and the Dental Association of Thessaloniki, Greece.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking and baking, listening to music, and spending time with her family. She loves to vacation to anywhere that allows her to swim in the Aegean Sea.